September 17th, 2020

// OMA: Urgent Improvements Needed to COVID Testing

OMA: Urgent Improvements Needed to COVID Testing

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2020 /CNW/ - The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is deeply concerned about the long lineups at COVID-19 Assessment Centres in many regions of the province.  

As more people return indoors, including children returning to school, testing needs will increase. There is a risk that growing demand will overwhelm Ontario's capacity to test, process, trace and isolate COVID-19 effectively in our communities. The second wave is coming, and we need to ensure an efficient patient-centred approach.

The OMA is calling on the government to urgently:

  • Revise criteria to focus testing on priority populations. 
  • Continue to expand testing capacity. 
  • Continue to expand the appropriate use of mobile teams to reduce the barriers to testing in high incidence neighbourhoods. 
  • Work with partners to expedite approval and implementation of point-of-care testing, which will lead to faster test results.

"With kids back in school, the current COVID-19 case count, and the flu season coming, more and more testing capacity will be needed. It is also necessary to prioritize testing for certain populations.  No one should have to, but truly ill people cannot be expected to stand in line for hours.", said OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill. "The last thing we want, is for a COVID-19 positive person to leave a lineup without getting tested." 

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 remains:

  • Wearing a mask. 
  • Keeping a physical distance. 
  • Frequent handwashing. 
  • Maintaining a limited social circle.

"This situation is evolving on a daily basis and we must be innovative and nimble to manage it effectively", said OMA CEO Allan O'Dette. "The OMA will continue to provide our best advice and expertise to the public and government decision makers." 

About the OMA

The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario's 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario's health-care system.  

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association


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